Readers Note: This webpage provides information about ongoing remediation activities at the Reid Gardner Generating Station in Southern Nevada. As of March 2017, the Reid Gardner Generation Station is no longer actively producing electricity and all power-generating plants have been taken out of service.
Administrative Order on Consent:
NV Energy and the NDEP entered into an Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) for the Reid Gardner Generating Station site on February 22, 2008. The AOC calls for NV Energy to continue with environmental contaminant characterization activities, including identification of clean-up measures for the soil and groundwater at the site and implementation of these clean-up measures. The AOC also calls for long-term operation and maintenance of NDEP-approved clean-up measures.
Potential environmental contaminants identified at the site include, but are not limited to, total dissolved solids (TDS), sulfate, chloride, metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and petroleum hydrocarbons.
The Reid Gardner Generating Station process water effluent, which is routed to evaporation ponds, is water that has been used in one of the processes to generate electricity, and is no longer suitable for any other uses. Historically, some of these evaporation ponds did not include engineered liners, which has resulted in impacted shallow groundwater at the station. Currently, all active evaporation ponds are underlain by high density polyethylene (HDPE) double-lined with an inner leak-detection and collection system to protect groundwater. There are no surface water discharges of wastewater from the station, as the plant is a Zero Liquid Discharge facility. For more historical information about the Reid Gardner Generating Station, please read this FACT SHEET.
NV Energy has been cleaning out and closing the historic ponds. The removal of “pond solids” has been completed at seven ponds (Ponds 4A, 4C1, 4C2, D, E2, F, and G) of the 11 ponds that are in the Muddy River flood plain [MAP]. Solids are actively being removed from Ponds 4B1, 4B2, 4B 3, and E-1. These removals will continue through 2017. All Ponds located in the Muddy River floodplain are out of service and no longer receive process water. Groundwater beneath the ponds is currently undergoing assessment and monitoring.
A number of potential petroleum source areas have been identified in the plant section that supported active power generation. These areas could not be investigated while power-generating activities were occurring. At the end of 2014, generating units 1, 2, and 3 were decommissioned and the petroleum source areas in the vicinity of those three generating units underwent investigations. Four petroleum source areas have been investigated and remediated by removing the soil affected by the petroleum hydrocarbons. The final generating unit, unit 4, was taken out of service in early 2017 and is currently being decommissioned. Additional petroleum source areas will be investigated and considered for appropriate remediation efforts as decommissioning and demolition progress.
Diesel fuel, which was discovered floating on groundwater in in the late 1980s at the petroleum source area of the site, likely resulted from former underground diesel-fuel piping. A diesel recovery system, which recovers free product and contaminated groundwater, began operation in 1988, was upgraded in 2003, and upgraded again in 2013. An investigation, which began in 2015, is currently underway to delineate the extent of petroleum impacts to soil and groundwater. The diesel recovery system is currently decommissioned while soil excavation and groundwater investigation continues.
In addition to the groundwater impacts associated with the on-site ponds and diesel fuel piping, various other potential areas of soil and groundwater contamination have been identified. These areas will also be addressed through implementation of the AOC. These efforts may include sampling soil and groundwater to characterize potential site contamination and then, as appropriate, implementing NDEP-approved clean-up activities.
Reid Gardner Generating Station AOC Meeting Minutes
Reid Gardner Generating Station NDEP Correspondence
Reid Gardner Generating Station Reports and Work Plans